If you read The Green Jobs Source this morning, you saw that the wind industry has some exciting news: 4,728 megawatts of wind energy where installed during 2012 and another 8,430 megawatts of wind power are currently under construction. Both of these numbers — the total amount of wind energy installed in one year and the amount of wind energy under construction at this time of the year — are record setting according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
These are not the only records the wind industry shattered this year. America now has more than 50,000 megawatts of installed wind capacity — enough to power 13 million homes — and nearly 70 percent of the value of U.S.-installed wind equipment is made right here in the United States.
This success, however, has not slowed down the attacks from those who want to stop the wind industry in its tracks. Benjamin Cole, spokesman for the American Energy Alliance, recently told Politico, “Our goal is to make the [Production Tax Credit] so toxic that it makes it impossible for John Boehner to sit at a table with Harry Reid and say, ‘Yeah, I can bend on this one.’”
Toxic? This is an industry that is employing 70,000 people directly in the United States and has a supply chain that supports another 20,000 people at 400 facilities. In what world is supporting their jobs toxic? And, the better question, what are the folks at the American Energy Alliance trying to gain by labeling the wind industry this way?
As we’ve told you, Congress’s delay in renewing the Production Tax Credit for wind energy is pure politics. It is already taking a toll; 2,000 workers have been laid-off or furloughed because of the uncertainty in the industry. These workers deserve better than to have the question of whether or not to support their jobs be declared “toxic.” America’s wind industry is a success, and it is an important component for building a 21st century economy. Congress needs to have an honest debate about whether to extend the Production Tax Credit for wind energy, and they need to step up to save these American jobs.